Sheriff will not support mask enforcement

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Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva issued a statement Friday afternoon that his department would not “expend our limited resources” to support the compliance of the county Public Health department’s new health order modifications, requiring masking indoors for all individuals regardless of vaccination status. 

“Forcing the vaccinated and those who already contracted COVID-19 to wear masks indoors is not backed by science and contradicts the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines,” Villanueva said in a prepared statement shared on the department’s website and social media channels, including the Facebook and Twitter accounts of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. 

Villanueva’s statement described the department as “underfunded/defunded” in his rationale to “ask for voluntary compliance” from county residents. 

Sheriff Villanueva also encouraged collaboration between Public Health, the county Board of Supervisors and his department “to establish mandates that are both achievable and supported by science.” 

Issued Friday, the modified health order, which takes effect 11:59 p.m. on Jul. 16, cited more infectious variants of the coronavirus and “substantial community transmission of COVID-19″ for the return of required masking at all indoor public settings, venues, gatherings and businesses. 

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